The Polarisation of Elizabethan Politics: The Political Career of Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, 1585-1597

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The final decades of the reign of Elizabeth I were marked by the meteoric career of her last great favourite, Robert Devereux, 2nd earl of Essex (1565-1601), and the outbreak of bitter political divisions at Court and across the realm. This revisionist study challenges the traditional 'romantic' image of Essex as a military incompetent and political dabbler.. "Studying his career between his arrival at court in 1585 and his appointment as earl marshal at the end of 1597, the book casts Essex in a new light and re-examines his role in the outbreak of factionalism in Elizabethan politics.. "This study explores the forces which drove Essex's career, why true political success remained frustratingly beyond his grasp, and how his efforts to achieve this success helped to fuel the polarisation of Elizabethan politics.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...Hammer's book is compulsive reading - a real page-turner - and will ist well on the shelf of scholar and general reader alike...highly recommended reading." Sixteenth Century Journal

"...richly detailed...This book will be invaluable for specialists studying court politics of the later Elizabethan period..." American Historical Review

"Written with the clarity and good judgment that comes from thorough familiarity with these co,plex material, it at once establishes its author as the leading scholar of late Elizabethan studies. Let us hope that the second volume will emerge as soon as possible, to complete an outstanding feat of historical research and writing." Jrnl of Early Modern history

"All those wanting to know about the earl's career, the character of English court society and politics, or the state of international relations at the end of the sixteenth century will find important new information and insight in it. Readers of this present volume will eagerly await a sequel." Journal of Modern History

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Product Details

Table of Contents

List of illustrations
List of abbreviations
Technical note
Introduction: 'A playboy of the western world'? 1
Pt. I Into the fateful circle: 1585-1592 11
1 'My lord of Essex' 13
2 'Yowr sonne most ready to doe yowr service' 39
3 'To whom muche is geven ...' 76
Pt. II The quest for greatness: 1593-1597 109
4 'One of her Majestie's privy councillors' 111
5 'Matters of intelligence' 152
6 'The shepheard of Albion's Arcadia' 199
7 'My lord of Essex his men' 269
8 'Your Majestie's creture and vassall' 316
9 'Yf we lyved not in a cunning world ...' 341
Conclusion: 'A greater worke then ever any gentleman' 389
Bibliography of primary sources 405
Index 428
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